Your Guide to Researching Idaho Ancestors
Postal Code: ID
1848-1853 part of Oregon Territory
IdahoTerritory created 1863; includes Montana until 1864; Wyoming until 1868
Admitted as the 43rd state July 3, 1890.
The state of Idaho did not require records of births or deaths prior to 1907 and began keeping them at the state level in 1911. Records prior to 1911 are at the county; some death records were kept before 1907. It began keeping marriage and divorce records in 1947. For earlier records look in the county where the event occurred
Books, Articles,Tapes,CD's etc.
On The Web
There is nothing more helpful that a handy reference book with information specific to the area you are researching. I've listed below those that I know about.
All of the three books listed below have a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state.
Ancesty's Idaho Fact Sheet will serve as a quick guide to resources available.
I know of no basic handbook on Idaho research, but would be glad to learn of one I can add.
Idaho Genealogical Society. Quarterly.
Audio tapes of talks given at genealogy conferences with the word Idaho in title.
Use the catalog at the FHL to find out what has been filmed covering the state of Idaho ; Click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the county you are researching and from there click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the township or city. You will want to check for resources in all three jurisdictions, although most people check the county holdings first, township next and state last.
Look at the websites of these libraries, archives and societies.
Review the web pages of Idaho public libraries in cities in or near the area you are researching... some may offer valuable information on line.
Visit the website of the Idaho Genealogy Society (although they don't seem to keep it up or fix problems). Once you know where in Idaho your ancestors resided, check for a local genealogical society in Idaho
The Idaho Historical Society is the home base of the Idaho Newspaper Project and owns a number of newspapers on microfilm. Many of these can be borrowed through your local public library on interlibrary loan.
The 1880 can be searched for free at Familysearch.org . There is a "reconstructed 1890" census index available online; it indexes Idaho residents of about that time period as identified in other sources. Find other online census records and more census information at censusfinder.com's Idaho links.
To get informaiton about vital records, check the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare vital records page or
The Ohio Historical Society website has a helpful page on Idaho naturalizations, including a downloadable index to the naturalizations of some counties.
The Idaho Historical Society has gathered a number of cemetery records and provide a listing of those records they own for each county. You can then send an information request; if it takes less than 1/2 hour, they charge only for photocopies.
Finally, check out Idaho Black Sheep Ancestors
If your ancestor was a "guest" of the Old Ohio Penitentiary, you can request a search of their records.